It’s grim up North

For those of you that have been reading this blog for a little while, you will know that I have a friend that lives in a generic part of the United Kingdom that I will refer to as ‘down south’.  This pretty much covers the entire area from Lands End in Cornwall right up to the north of York, covering 100% of the dry area between the Irish coast/Atlantic Ocean  and the North Sea.

In response, he would describe anything north of Watford as ‘The North’ and treat us all as one big lump.  I would suggest, therefore, that anywhere between Watford and York be renamed ‘the Midlands’ and we leave it at that.

So, my brave old friend is going to venture North for a few days next week and wants to sample the delights that the North has to offer.  This is an unusual occurrence as I have found in the course of business during the last 20 years, the train from Newcastle to London takes about 25 minutes in the mind of Southerners.  We northerners must be ready to jump on a train and arrive ready and presented for a 9 am meeting, seemingly grateful that we have been given the opportunity to buy a thimble full of coffee for £4 and a £9 falafel (made with dolphin friendly, lint free wraps).


Conversely ( I think it might be because travelling north is ‘uphill’) any trip up north is deemed to take about five months and has to be considered a journey of proportions akin to the movement from the east to west coast of America back in the gold rush days.  You set off from Kings Cross with a support party of around twenty people and arrive in Newcastle with your fingers crossed that you and half of your team have survived.  Talking all of this drama into account, I was excited to hear from my friend and his desire for adventure.

We have three days to fill and I am looking forward to showing him around.  It is a very difficult balancing act to get right.  I want to impress him and show him some of the beautiful things that we have to offer in the grim north, but I don’t want him to head home too happy.  He may well tell all his friends in the south about what we have tried to hide away from them for so long and trigger a mass movement of travellers and ruin things for us natives.


Joking aside, I am really looking forward to catching up with him, taking some time out, and showing off the best that the north east has to offer.  My plan is to spend day one walking from Whitley Bay down to Tynemouth, taking in the views, the sea air, the new promenade and the coffee shops on the coast before stopping for lunch at the critically acclaimed Riley’s Fish Shack.  I don’t like fish, but I am sure that they have something for me!

Tynemouth Longsands (my own Picture)

Day two and I intend to don the hiking boots and head up to the beautiful Northumberland coast and walk along the perfect golden sands that stretch, uninterrupted, for miles.  Taking in the castles and the wildlife and the olde England tea shoppes on the way.  I intend to take my trusty camera with me and capture the best of the views and hope to share them with you.

The featured image above is from google but is of the beautiful Dunstanburgh castle.

Day three and we head into Newcastle centre to see if we can find something new to explore.  We have reservations at Cafe 21 in the evening and I am looking forward to some fine dining and fine chat while we put the world to rights between us.

I will let you know how my part time job at the north of England tourist board works out!

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